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It's a shame you had to have a direct conversation but good that you did it. I've never been able to get on with people who need a firm hand or want to be bossed around or told what to do. Some people really need a boss and will follow a bossy person around like a puppy and be entirely compliant, while they walk all over someone who is more passive. I also observe a weird phenomena of people pleasers, where someone is genuinely accepted - they put no effort and pour their effort into someone they have to please. People are so strange.

Like you, being bossy isn't my nature. In my mind relationships arent hierarchy, to me no one is superior or inferior. They're simply them and you stand on equal ground of give and take, just a shame people seem to so seldom be capable of that. Or basic decency a lot of the time.

I hope she actually follows through and it isnt just words. Most of the time with people, it is nothing but empty words and promises that mean absolutely nothing. My feeling, based on what you have said is it likely will be a re-homing project but let's hope her words means something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #242 ·
I do need to get a picture of the pony with my horses. It's very funny to see them together.

Dear Horse Forum,

Thank you for listening, I really need you right now to vent and for the great advice.

LOL

I had barely posted that earlier post this morning when the texts started coming in.
"You are right, I am listening to your advice." What happened is that the Morab at the rescue had her foal, and she says "I want him." Her idea is to adopt the mare and foal. And now she says I am right, the pony is too small, she thinks "we" should get her green broke and then rehome her "to a kid." An unhandled pony. The pony would not be ready for a kid owner for at least...two years? Now the artful part will come. How to extricate an unwanted pony from her owner and also deter her from attempting to get a green mare with a foal. Yikes. She will not have any help from me if she tries to get more horses.
 

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Humans 🤦‍♀️ so the stupidity has just begun.

Make it plainly clear that the mare and foal is a mistake, she already made one mistake with this pony and she needs to at least wait until she is rehomed before even thinking about another. Why cant she just get some kind of trail safe, broke, been there done that kind of horse? Or does she has some romantic but delusional idea of "saving" a horse and making it a miracle partnership like in the movies?

What the heck does she actually want or is this all impulse? Is she mentally sound or is she living in a parallel world? I've come to realize recently that a lot of people live in their own world and perceive something a bit far from reality. There are people who live in the world of make believe and do not have the intention of trying to perceive reality or be objective. They do not question or cross examine their perception or self narrative. Their thinking tends to be more based in emotion and ideals and less in logic or reason. It's a bit baffling and highly illogical. I have no idea how to cope with that. Because they'll say, I hear you or I understand but they dont.

People who live in a parallel world are often completely unaware that they are delusional and will fight pretty hard against logic and reason. I've not found reason to work and they get very offended by it :/ or they dont really understand the logic/reason. It's a totally different point of view, I have not figured out how to deal with that. But Im very analytical/logic based.

However I think as people are moving more and more away from hands on and grounding type work and life experience, they are becoming more and more in this idealistic way of thinking and perceiving without understanding the reality or implications.

I wish I had some advice, those are just my thoughts. I have not figured out a great way to reason with the unreasonable who are passive enough to agree but then do crazy things.
 

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@gottatrot, can you just clear something up for me? Am I remembering this right - that at this point the new owner can't afford a saddle?
...but she's talking about adopting two more horses? ...cost of keeping etc, even if no adoption fee...

I'm afraid your new friend does sound like a fruitcake...

You know one thing that really makes me mad? People who want things, but don't want to look after them.

A relative of mine always bemoaned her lack of garden, but didn't actually do anything about it herself. If I planted something for her as a favour (because she allegedly had injuries preventing her from doing so), she'd not even water it consistently or keep the weeds away and sooner or later it would be dead...

She was very much like this: Always wanting stuff and complaining about not having it but not raising a finger herself. She had a horse for a couple of years but never rode it, and didn't even brush it - just fed it a carrot once a day, and let everyone else do the work.

Once when she was moaning about all the things she would like, I asked her if she was an Egyptian princess in a past life, with loads of footservants to attend to her wishes - brush and muck out and exercise her horse, make grand gardens, look after these gardens etc, redecorate on her whims...
 

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Discussion Starter · #246 ·
@gottatrot, can you just clear something up for me? Am I remembering this right - that at this point the new owner can't afford a saddle?
...but she's talking about adopting two more horses? ...cost of keeping etc, even if no adoption fee...
Actually, that was a mixup. There is another horse owner with an Appaloosa who also wanted an Aussie saddle but couldn't afford one yet. She actually has saved up and ordered one now. The pony owner is a nurse and has money, at least whenever the paychecks come in.

Yesterday I was more firm again because she sent me a text that said the Arab rescue is willing to rehome Estelle and let her have the Morab and foal instead. So I very clearly told her I was not going to train any more horses for her after the pony, that she had no concept of how much work a green mare with a new foal would be, and that our horse philosophies did not mesh at all.

Unfortunately, now that more has come to light, I believe this person may have an issue such as borderline personality disorder. Have you seen the movie The Cable Guy? That is an extreme version. But I am seeing a lot of concerning signs such as changing hobbies or interests and then being consumed by them, a desperate need to keep a friend and fear of abandonment, a person living thousands of miles from family with no friends, a history of serial bad relationships (she says), a history of changing locations and jobs, impulsiveness and spree spending.

We hammered out that I will train the pony until she has a new home, and that she will take good care of her. She is apparently planning after the foal is weaned to take the Morab only, but send her to a trainer for a while. She was disappointed because she thought I might want to "raise a foal from the beginning," and I told her a side project was not taking on an untrained horse, plus a green horse (ridden two or three times), plus a foal. That is more like what a full time trainer might take on, since I have also my own horses to care for and Hero to train.

Something I haven't mentioned is that when she did not have her RV in town yet, she asked if it would be OK to have a box sent to my house. I said that was fine. Then she said two more things had been sent also because she needed them right away. I said I guessed that was OK. Multiple shipments have been arriving every day, and so I texted and said now that she had her RV in a park, things needed to stop coming to my house. Then she said she guessed she needed to get a PO box, but wasn't sure if her dog food could be shipped there monthly. ???? Can you believe that? Apparently she was planning that all her stuff would just come to my house, including setting up to have monthly deliveries!!

Basically, I looked at horse pictures with her at work, talked about how much I liked horses, and within a couple weeks helped acquire and agreed to training an unhandled pony, and have had the next couple years of my life planned out for me involving training multiple horses, trailering them around etc. You don't even know all the things she'd mentioned which apparently I thought were dreams but perhaps were actual plans. It's like if someone said maybe we should take a trip to Hawaii sometime and you said "maybe," and then they said "I have my tickets, do you have yours yet?" She's mentioned things like going to a dude ranch, staying down in California and riding Rocky Mountain horses for a few days, parking her RV at the Arab rescue and playing with the mare and foal. Going to endurance rides all over and etc. These things I thought were dreams and just said, "sounds nice," and stuff like that. Apparently, that meant I was all in.

Her text today was about not wanting to distance herself from me, and she would like to adopt my horse philosophy. Yesterday she said she felt judged by me, but I just stated facts about what horses need, and what I could realistically offer, which was training Estelle. I'm not chatting with her anymore, and there will have to be firm boundaries. At work, we will do our jobs. At the barn, I will train the pony and discuss that with her. If she mentions big plans, I'll have to say firmly that I'm not involved. I want to be nice, especially if there is a fear of abandonment. But I am not able to be in a codependent compulsive relationship with someone. Unless it is a dog of course. But my dog is more stable than that.
 

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Yesterday I was more firm again because she sent me a text that said the Arab rescue is willing to rehome Estelle and let her have the Morab and foal instead. So I very clearly told her I was not going to train any more horses for her after the pony, that she had no concept of how much work a green mare with a new foal would be, and that our horse philosophies did not mesh at all.
Boundaries now established - and doesn't hurt to repeat them whenever the occasion requires it! :)

Life is much more pleasant when people know where they stand. Things are far less awkward after the first big clarification session in a situation, if the situation has needed it!

Also a good outcome that things are still civil and people still communicating. 😎 Worst outcome would be two people loathing each other for perceived wrongs etc.

It's not easy to have talks like this - at least for the majority of people. Often people leave it so late they are already upset and then things can get too emotional and turn ugly. Being able to calmly and tactfully state your boundaries to others is a valuable skill, and it gets easier with practice. Many of us didn't have the role modelling at home to show us how to do this from the time we were little. A lot of people either avoid conflict wherever possible, or get aggressive, pushy, insulting etc (i.e. bully others). Friendly assertiveness is a wonderful thing to cultivate.

The way I see it, people have "operating systems" like computers do, that were written by someone else (mostly their chief caregivers). As adults we can take a good look at the source code of our "operating system" and start re-writing it so it's more in line with the operating system we would like to have. 🌟


Unfortunately, now that more has come to light, I believe this person may have an issue such as borderline personality disorder. Have you seen the movie The Cable Guy? That is an extreme version. But I am seeing a lot of concerning signs such as changing hobbies or interests and then being consumed by them, a desperate need to keep a friend and fear of abandonment, a person living thousands of miles from family with no friends, a history of serial bad relationships (she says), a history of changing locations and jobs, impulsiveness and spree spending.
Not seen the movie, but familiar with the concept. It can be difficult to handle people like this, but it's not impossible if you approach it with clear boundaries and don't get involved in any drama. It's I think far easier to be loosely friends with a person with BPD than to be their flatmate or romantic partner.

I think a lot of people with BPD type characteristics don't have great self-awareness and would be horrified to see themselves as other people see them. There can be a lot of shame when you dig down, and usually the role modelling at home was shiitake. "Nice" BPDs have their hearts in the right place, but lack insight and blunder along and get stuck in vicious cycles, especially since socialising outside of a structured workplace with clear expectations can be so hard for them. If you want to do good things in the world, then being a good role model for a "nice" BPD is definitely a valuable thing - it's sort of like working with a difficult horse with terrible past experiences from a shiitake background.

Not all BPDs are nice, of course - some thrive on the drama and enjoy discomfiture in others. But avoiding that kind goes under the same umbrella as avoiding sociopaths. 🙃


We hammered out that I will train the pony until she has a new home, and that she will take good care of her. She is apparently planning after the foal is weaned to take the Morab only, but send her to a trainer for a while. She was disappointed because she thought I might want to "raise a foal from the beginning," and I told her a side project was not taking on an untrained horse, plus a green horse (ridden two or three times), plus a foal. That is more like what a full time trainer might take on, since I have also my own horses to care for and Hero to train.
Yeah, lots of people have no idea how much work that involves - the huge difference between some imagined wonderfulness versus the reality of lots of hard grind - and having to go take care of the animals every day, whether you would rather be hygge at home for self-care, or not. Too many Hollywood movies on this topic have given people ridiculous ideas, and only reality can cure such ideas...

It's much better for an inexperienced person to have a single, doable project than multiple challenging ones... not a good idea to take on too much. (Often people mistake their good intentions for their actual abilities, available energy etc.)


Something I haven't mentioned is that when she did not have her RV in town yet, she asked if it would be OK to have a box sent to my house. I said that was fine. Then she said two more things had been sent also because she needed them right away. I said I guessed that was OK. Multiple shipments have been arriving every day, and so I texted and said now that she had her RV in a park, things needed to stop coming to my house. Then she said she guessed she needed to get a PO box, but wasn't sure if her dog food could be shipped there monthly. ???? Can you believe that? Apparently she was planning that all her stuff would just come to my house, including setting up to have monthly deliveries!!
Sounds like this person was raised without a clear concept of boundaries and appropriateness. Maybe she somehow internalised the belief that friends / nice people will do anything for each other.

This is so like working with a horse: Every interaction you have is training. 😜


Basically, I looked at horse pictures with her at work, talked about how much I liked horses, and within a couple weeks helped acquire and agreed to training an unhandled pony, and have had the next couple years of my life planned out for me involving training multiple horses, trailering them around etc. You don't even know all the things she'd mentioned which apparently I thought were dreams but perhaps were actual plans. It's like if someone said maybe we should take a trip to Hawaii sometime and you said "maybe," and then they said "I have my tickets, do you have yours yet?" She's mentioned things like going to a dude ranch, staying down in California and riding Rocky Mountain horses for a few days, parking her RV at the Arab rescue and playing with the mare and foal. Going to endurance rides all over and etc. These things I thought were dreams and just said, "sounds nice," and stuff like that. Apparently, that meant I was all in.
Ah well, I guess now she knows differently. 😉

It's easier to handle this kind of situation if you are aware you are really dealing with an emotional age of around 8. That way you're not going to be constantly surprised all over again when the next thing happens that no sane responsible adult would think or do. This is more "teaching people how to treat us". Some people's internal 8-year-olds are amenable to mentoring - and some people's are not!

I really dread to think what this person's upbringing was like. I doubt it was happy. This doesn't make it your responsibility, of course - but I think a good way to see it is like being part of the village it takes to raise a child - just to be a good member of that village - this takes many people, and not one particular person.


I'm not chatting with her anymore, and there will have to be firm boundaries. At work, we will do our jobs. At the barn, I will train the pony and discuss that with her. If she mentions big plans, I'll have to say firmly that I'm not involved. I want to be nice, especially if there is a fear of abandonment. But I am not able to be in a codependent compulsive relationship with someone. Unless it is a dog of course. But my dog is more stable than that.
Yeah, exactly. And it sounds like you're approaching it really well. If you can work with each other within that really explicit structure and not get too "friendly" then over time you may find that has a good effect on her. Sort of like teaching a class - you're always supposed to start with your boundaries really explicit and tight and to follow up immediately and consistently and without emotional drama on boundary violations. Then you can loosen up later on when the house-training is well established. 😇 If you need to, you can then always pull back into the firmly established boundaries and consequences when people get a bit silly. But generally, having good boundaries established early is an excellent foundation for having respectful relationships - which are too rare in this world! And when people behave well towards other people, we can give them warm feedback on it, which encourages it further in them. It's a way to establish things like kindness, responsibility, good manners etc in students - and sometimes, in other people in our circle of influence. 😉 They don't even have to be your friends - a good role model is a good role model.

/end hippie thoughts. 😇 (But you know, I do like to make sure I smile and connect on a human level with the people who serve me when I do my grocery shopping - to see them actively as people and not conveniences, and to be on the same level as them rather than speaking down as many people will do to service personnel. And this little habit makes for a lot of really nice interactions on both sides! ❤)

How's Hero?
 

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That whole post freaked me out. I’m trying currently to be open minded and make a couple friends. This is difficult to do with social anxiety.

One is becoming established; I really like her. She’s not needy by any means, but I feel like she likes me too and we are both happy with the friendship. Maybe I am a bit too... idk, busy? I struggle with the “let’s get together,” concept. It takes me out of my comfort zone. Lol

Another kind of just presented herself to me. I’ve been so distracted with the funeral arrangements that I haven’t been very attentive, but I like her when I’ve seen her. She’s the mother of little girl’s friend, so she’s shown up at my house (with warning, not just surprise) and texted me. She seems like she would become my friend easily, and I just found out she has some skeletons, but everyone deserves to outgrow mistakes right?

Then your story of Estelle has been going on in the background and it has totally freaked me out!! Maybe isolation isn’t so terrible...
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
Thanks for the good advice, @SueC.
@Knave, I'm sure most people just want to be normal friends and not take over your life, so don't let my experience put you off. I've had lots of normal friends, LOL. But they soon learn I don't go out for coffee and things like that. If they want to do horse stuff or something active/outdoors then we get along fine. If we have lunch it's because we are tired and need to eat after an activity.

Session #4 with Estelle yesterday. Good progress, she walked around with the halter sitting on top of her neck and head, and put her nose through it to get treats and I tied it around her neck for a while. I was able to touch her ears briefly, put my arm over her neck and back, and touch her all over for longer. I got two knots out of her mane, three big ones left.

Here are some pics to show you her size...not the best. DH took them and everyone was moving around a lot. She likes my horses and they like her. No drama, just nose touching and sniffing. Then they all ate her hay together. I first said Amore was 14.3, and my good friends said maybe with shoes on. She's probably 14.2, maybe only 14.1. I think Hero is 15.3. How big do you think the pony is? She's uphill of Amore in some pics, but you can see their overall relative size. Her owner thought if she fills out she'll be bigger, but still she is tiny.
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She does look small. It is hard to tell because they aren’t ever really up next to each other... I keep trying to see her in relation to the fence, but I can’t seem to judge that either. It’s too bad she’s tiny.

I’m like that too. I’d love to get together and ride or rope, but I’m realizing maybe I need to branch out. I have a friend who will come over to rope occasionally, but I think they are moving and she is almost due to have a baby! I think maybe I need to have coffee with someone sometime.... I don’t have a town job, so the only people I see are the family. Lol
 

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Oh no. You need to get out of this situation ASAP O.O I've been bitten too many times now. I lost a few friends when I sold my car, after moving Katie closer. How sad is that? Guess how many of those friends were non-drivers? lol. In London of all places where transport is pretty aight. Anything more than a 20minute journey is considered a trek :/ I thought they were taking the **** but this lady of yours... I'm really glad you picked up on it quickly though and can take action to try distance yourself. Help Estelle and then shut that door for good! People I don't know get one "freebie" and the harder they try pull on my heart strings the quicker they get plucked. Just dont have the energy for it anymore. It's nice reading in real time you helping an unhandled mare and sharing the progress.
 

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Estelle has a very cute face. As to her being Arab, maybe part-bred? Doesn't quite look right even for a stunted Arab - looks like a pony cross to me, facially as well.

@Knave, with the majority of people you can trust your gut instinct. And the more in tune you are with your gut instinct and don't second-guess it, the more reliable that becomes. (As a young person I got in trouble a couple of times when I had an adverse gut reaction to a couple of people over the space of a few years, but immediately castigated myself, saying, "How can you be so judgemental, you don't even know this person, you've got no evidence, give them a chance!" Bad idea - the gut reaction was accurate, and an adverse gut reaction has never yet been inaccurate for me. I imagine it's a similar process by which horses get instant impressions of other horses and people.)

@gottatrot, I looked up the movie - it's got quite a cast, and a wrist-slitting story line! :)

@Kalraii, hiya, hope all's going well for you and Katie! 😎 Your post made me remember the time that I set boundaries on people who visited my house with the front door: You'd not get it if I didn't feel comfortable with you (and I still think that's a great idea), and if I got uncomfortable with you while you were in my house, I'd ask you to go out the door again! :D My door is a fairly blunt instrument, but I'm particularly averse to BS in my own home, even in tiny amounts...:poop: I now "pre-filter" better so I don't have to ask people to leave very often.

But I remember an occasion I was in my 20s and a sorta friend from work came over. I happened to be making pesto, which has garlic in it, when she came in, and I continued to make it while we conversed across the kitchen counter. I was peeling and putting garlic bulbs into the food processor, and getting my fresh herbs ready, when she suddenly swerved from the topic we were discussing and said, "That's so much garlic you're using there!" I explained it was pesto and garlic is a major component. She said, "Well, I still think that's too much garlic! You should use less garlic!" (No I shouldn't, the pesto is for me and I'm following a recipe I like and has worked before.)

These days I'd probably say, a bit sarcastically, "Well, thank you for your opinion, and you can make pesto how you like it in your own kitchen!" - and change the topic, and refuse to come back to this topic. But back then she didn't stop giving unsolicited advice, and I didn't know how to deflect her, so I said, "You know, this is my home, and I don't think it's right for someone to come into it and tell me how I should do my own things, so unless you're gonna stop with this, I'm gonna ask you to leave!" Which made her go into a critique of me and how I was too touchy and should take advice from my elders and betters, and at this I walked over to my front door, held it open, and said, "Goodbye!"

I didn't see her again socially and she moved away; years later, I was at the farmers' market with my husband and she came up and tapped me on the shoulder, and she said to me she was back on holidays, and that it was really important to her to tell me she was very sorry about the way she behaved at my house all these years ago and she'd felt bad about it for ages. 😮 Then we got chatting, everything friendly again and both of us relieved that we'd met again and straightened things out. Funny how these things go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #257 ·
Such great (and terrible) stories. Lol.

There was a chain saw running nearby when I went to see the pony today so she was a little unsettled. I did brush her with a brush, so that was new.

Hero and I went on a nice ride with Maybelle the mule for a little over an hour. He did pretty great. Only one spook at the end of the ride, none of the nervy stuff in my recent video.

He did not want to enter the wooded trails and would not. I got off and walked him in a couple times. The third time I really did not want to get off so kept trying but he would only back up.

Maybelle's owner said if he wanted to back, I should try backing toward the trail. Hero is way too smart for that kind of trick and wouldn't even back one step toward the woods.

Then we found the perfect solution. Maybelle's rider circled by, picked up Hero's rein and ponied us onto the trail before dropping us. At the next woods entrance, Maybelle's rider picked us up again.

Even in the woods, Hero did not jig and followed Maybelle's lead. She is green so he helped her by being calm near all the traffic, tarps and machinery. She helped him through the woods. It was great.

We saw some cows and Hero was only slightly nervous rather than very frightened the way he was last year.
 

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Had Hero been reading Green Eggs and Ham?

I could not, would not, on a boat.
I will not, will not, with a goat.
I will not eat them in the rain.
I will not eat them on a train.
Not in the dark! Not in a tree!
Not in a car! You let me be!
I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I will not eat them in a house.
I do not like them with a mouse.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere!

I do not like
Green eggs
And ham!

I do not like them,
Sam-I-am.

You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may I say.

Sam!
If you will let me be,
I will try them.
You will see.

Say!
I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat!
And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good so good you see!
 

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Discussion Starter · #259 ·
@SueC, perfect!

I agree the pony could be crossed with something. Maybe just a grade pony? She has a lot of Arab traits.

Her owner has done several good things. She's been reliably making it out to feed and/or has asked the barn owner to feed for her. She told me a box that showed up was for me, and it was a pair of new Dublin paddock boots in my size, with a zip up the front like I prefer. She said this was for helping her and that she was very grateful. So that was very nice. I had mentioned my boots were worn out, in passing.

Something else that won her some points was that she said she didn't think Estelle fit the pony, and what did I think about Amira? Apparently it means Princess. We agreed the pony is acting more princess-like than like a cranky old lady, and I told her I'd like to call the pony Amira too. To me it sounds a lot like Amore, and DH and I call her "little Amore."

I've been talking a bit about how I'd be willing to take Amira so she could be with my horses and have friends, and also not have any rush about working with her. She sounds very open to the idea, so I'll keep feeling it out.
I've been training for charge nurse at my job so finishing my 3rd 12-13 hr shift. Tomorrow I get to go out and play with the horses.
 

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I have a difficult person story that I will share. I was teaching special ed and had a number of difficult and troubled children. I mostly did OK with my kids. I was not the best teacher in the school, but far from the worst--very appropriate nickname from 4-H as a kid--I was known as "The Third Place Kid." And I'll guess that I was a "Third Place Teacher."

So, one year we got a new vice principal who decided to harass me. I have no idea why, but I've seen it happen to others many times and a few times to myself. Made no sense. She'd come into my classroom and find fault with what I was doing. She made suggestions that were not especially helpful--you can imagine the scenario.

She made that school year quite miserable for me, and I was ecstatic when she was promoted to principal of her own school and went away.

Years later, I was a librarian at a different school and discovered that her daughter was attending 3rd grade at my school. How I dreaded having her come to school for parent visitation! But she was OK with me, so it was kind of OK.

When the daughter was in 5th grade, we took all the 5th graders to sleep-away camp for 3 days. I had been in charge of the horses for years and didn't think anything of it until this former vice principal, whom I almost hated, came as a parent volunteer.

And I was super anxious because when she arrived at the camp, she grabbed my arm and said she was going to depend on me because I had done camp with 5th graders for many years. She plopped her sleeping bag and suitcase on the bed next to mine. My heart sank. I couldn't stand this bossy difficult demanding harsh woman!

That night she and I stayed up almost the whole night whispering to each other side by side with our beds next to each other. She confided many of her hurts and fears, including her failure as a principal, being demoted, and miscarrying her baby because of the stress. I felt it was her way of apologizing to me. From that camp experience on, she became like a friend and often helped me in the library as a parent volunteer. I had a wonderful supportive cadre of amazing parents those years, and she was one of them.
 
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